Understanding Online Casino Dice GamesBy: Rick Balding, Thursday November 5th 2009
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Dice games are games of chance. The lure of dice games begins much before players are even aware of gambling. Games like Monopoly and Cluedo have pumped up generations of children. Therefore it is natural for players to have an affinity for online casino dice games.
Online casinos offer two dice games. One is craps and the other is sic bo. Craps is the better known of the two games. Not only is it a standard fixture in land based casinos, but has been popularized in movies and on television. On the other hand sic bo is a game of Asian origin and therefore considered to be part of an alien culture. This makes craps the first choice online dice game for many new players.
However new players soon realize that sic bo is a simpler game to understand. In sic bo players bet on either the combination of numbers appearing on the faces of the dice or the dice totals. What is more important is that each bet is settled in a single roll. At the end of every roll players have either won or lost their wager. Bets are not carried forward. On the other hand in craps the more commonly placed wagers are carried forward and settled over a number of rolls. Players have to come to terms with concepts like come out rolls, points, right bettors, wrong bettors, buying bets and laying bets. Therefore though sic bo is an alien game it is much simpler to figure out.
However, new players must understand that it is neither the familiarity nor the simplicity that should be the factors that dictate where they should wager. If they go by these factors they are bound to lose money and lose quite heavily. The only criterion for wagering is the long term return that the bets provide. Bets that have high house edges provide lower long term returns and bets that have low house edges provide higher long term returns. Therefore new players must look at the house edges of the various bets offered in craps and sic bo.
There are two benchmarks that players can use as house edges. One is the house edges offered by blackjack and video poker games, which is around 0.5%. This is assuming best play, something that new players may not be capable of delivering. The second benchmark is the house edge offered by online slots games, which is about 5%. This does not require any strategy and is achievable by all players alike. Hence new players looking at online dice games should touch only those bets that offer a house edge of less than 5%.
Unfortunately sic bo has only two such wagers. These are the Small and Big bets. The Small bet wins on totals of 4 to 10, except for triples. The Big bet wins on totals of 11 to 17, except for triples. Both bets pay even money and have a house edge of 2.78%. Hence players who are attracted to sic bo for whatever reason should stick only to these two wagers. Players who are looking at single roll wagers in craps have even less choice. The only bet that they can look at is the Field bet. This bet wins if the next number rolled is 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. This bet has a house edge of 2.7% but only under certain payout conditions. These are that one of 2 or 12 pays out at 2 to 1 and the other at 3 to 1. There are many multiple roll bets in craps that have house edges of less than 5%, but then new players have to be prepared to make an effort to understand the intricacies involved.
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